Excerpt from “The Joy of Jesus” by Doreen Virtue.
“The Joy of Jesus”
by Doreen Virtue
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” Jesus in John 15:11 NLT
The above words from Jesus are about a blessing that he gives to believers: Joy! Pure and lasting joy!
It’s a joy that sustains you through life’s trials and times of suffering. This joy isn’t dependent upon external circumstances. This joy is steady and consistent no matter what’s going on, because it rests upon the rock-solid foundation of the Gospel.
It’s the joy of being head-over-heels in love with Jesus, and following his words because you love him . . . and knowing that Jesus loves you! The joy is finally finding the love that you’ve been craving your whole life. It’s longing to be with Jesus for eternity in heaven.
It’s knowing that Jesus loves you so much, that he was willing to suffer and die to wash you and all believers clean. It’s knowing that you’ll spend eternity in Paradise with Jesus and other believers, and knowing that you’ve finally found what you’ve been seeking.
It’s totally and completing trusting God’s promises, and surrendering to his will, guidance, and leadership.
It’s the joy of freedom from the weight of oppressive guilt, as you take each transgression to God and are lifted in forgiveness and edified in his teachings.
It took me a long time to understand and live this message, though. Previously, I was unaware of the joy that Jesus offers. I had an incorrect view of Jesus and Christianity that kept me from knowing the truth.
I spent 58 years searching for this joy, which I finally found when I surrendered my life to Jesus. This book contains my hard-won lessons that I wish someone had taught me long ago.
I’ve met people who associate Jesus with guilt, fear, rules, patriarchy, and punishment. They equate Christianity with judgmental church ladies, disapproving pastors, hypocrisy, misogyny, elitism, sexism, Bible conspiracies, and dusty hymnals.
I did not have a relationship with God the Father, because I didn’t know him. I held the concept that God was the energy of the universe. I had confused the Creator (God) with his creation (the universe).
So God seemed as cold and distant as the planets and stars. I knew God was love, but it seemed like an impersonal love. I also didn’t realize that I could share my problems with him. So I developed a closeness with angels, because they seemed accessible and non-threatening.
Little did I know that we need to exercise careful discernment, as some angels are actually demons pretending to be an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14). I learned the hard way that just like there are human hypocrites who pretend to be one thing but are really another, the same applies to the spirit world.
Just like there are people that go to church but are really evil, there are spirits that pretend to be good but are truly wicked. It’s true what they say that “not all that glitters is gold.” The good news is, just like there’s fake gold there’s also real gold.
The real treasure available to us all is Jesus..
Three events catapulted my heart into Jesus’s open arms:
- When I read the entire Gospels while researching my Loving Words from Jesus Cards, I realized that my previous beliefs about Jesus hadn’t been accurate.
- I had a life-changing vision of Jesus while at church on January 7, 2017. When I saw Jesus, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything written about him in the Bible was real and true. I also fell so deeply in love with Jesus, that I was willing to change my whole life to follow him. You’ll read more about that experience in this book.
- I began reading and studying the entire Bible (previously I’d only read random Bible passages) in a format called The One Year Bible, New Living Translation. This Bible has daily readings in a modern language that makes it easier to understand, to help motivate you to read the Bible in a year. I also took, and continue to take, lots of Bible study classes. In the midst of a lot of fervent prayer and Bible study, Jesus planted joy in my heart!
Miraculously, I stayed joyful during the upheaval and persecution that followed my conversion to Christianity. Although I lost my ranch, publisher, radio show, and most of my income because of my conversion, my heart remained filled with the joy of the Lord and the faith that God was in charge. This little book is my story of what I’ve learned about the joy of Jesus.
May you find the joy that Jesus gives to all who believe and receive him as our Lord and Savior.